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I was in my first year of studying at university, a couple of months shy of my 19th birthday. My abiding memory of that day was sitting around in the quad with my friends, all of us trying to comprehend what had happened and what kind of effects it would have on our lives. We had a Statistics exam that evening. I remember that the majority of the class bombed and I always wondered if our lecturer realised why that probably was.
Ten years later I'm still transfixed by the events of that day as post-9/11 literature is the focus of my thesis. I've read a raft of novels that I consider to be post-9/11 - that is, literature that directly represents the events of the day or the effects on society after the events. I'm more interested in reading novels that register the after-shocks as I always think that seeing what happens after is far more informative than the fiction that tries to re-create what was undeniably a terrible event. So since this is my "Special Topic" of interest, I thought I would create a post-9/11 reading list. To honour the memory of those who perished in the collapse of the towers, the attack on the Pentagon and in the flight that went down in Pennsylvania, I believe it is best to keep on thinking and keep on asking questions.
Falling Man by Don DeLillo
A Disorder Peculiar to the Country by Ken Kalfus
Man in the Dark by Paul Auster
The Zero by Jess Walter
Ghost Town by Patrick McGrath
Saturday by Ian McEwan
The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid
I haven't read these yet but I hear they're worth a look -
Terrorist by John Updike
Submission by Amy Waldman
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathon Safran Foer.
Also, go over to The New Dork Review of Books for this thoughtful and interesting post about what we should expect from fiction about this subject.
What is your favourite post-9/11 novel?